California family killed in Oregon plane crash

4 people dead after small plane crash

HARRISBURG, Ore. – The four people who died in a plane crash near Harrisburg Friday morning have been identified.

The pilot was identified as 67-year-old Mark Gregory Aletky, of Acton, California. The three passengers were a mother, father, and their son. They were identified as 42-year-old John A. Zitting, 37-year-old Karen Blackmore Zitting and 17-year-old John Brendan Zitting, all from Thousand Oaks, California.

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The Zitting family hired Aletky to fly them from Van Nuys, California to Eugene, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office. The plane was a 1984 single-engine Piper PA-46 and left Van Nuys at 7:22 a.m.

Investigators said the plane had flown past Eugene Airport when witnesses said for unknown reasons the plane suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field about two miles north of Harrisburg. Investigators do not know why plane flew north past Eugene Airport. The crash was reported at 10:53 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration arrived on scene late Friday afternoon. An investigation is ongoing.

Much of western Oregon was under a high wind warning Friday morning, with strong gusts knocking down trees and power lines.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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